At Somnath, President seeks blessings for India
President Pratibha Patil, who is on a five-day tour to Gujarat, visited the historic Somnath temple on Saturday. Patil, along with her relatives, arrived at Somnath around noon and offered special prayers to the Lord. She did Mahapuja and Arati at the temple. Somnath Temple Trust president and former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, finance minister Vajubhai Vala andother dignitaries accompanied Patil. .
President Pratibha Patil offers special prayers at the Somnath Temple. She was later presented with a memento by Keshubhai Patel.
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Keshubhai presented to the President a silver model of the temple, shawl, sari andthree-dimensional photos of Somnath Jyotirlinga. Patil also took a round of the seashore along with Keshubhai and other dignitaries. She wrote a message in the visitors' book.
The message read: "May the Lord Somnath give all happiness to the countrymen."
Later she took lunch at Somnath VIP Guest House and after resting for a while, she visited Golakdham temple and did Puja of Shri Krishna's Charan Paduka. Elaborate security arrangements were made in Somnath and the temple was kept closed for general public during the President's visit. She visited other nearby places and around 3.30 pm, she left for Diu.
Earlier in the day, Patil visited the Gir Sanctuary. She spent around two hours in the jungle watching lions. On Friday, she had spotted lions in the sanctuary at three different spots.
She also handed over mementos to members of the Siddi community who performed a traditional 'Dhamal Dance' before her.
Patil stayed overnight at a hotel in Gir Wildlife sanctuary. At Diu, the president was to be given a "guard of honour" and was to attend a cultural programme. She will visit Nagva Beach and Saint Paul Church in Diu on Sunday. She will return to Rajkot on Sunday evening and will leave for New Delhi thereafter.
--With agency inputs